From 14 to 16 hours, it is around eight hours now

The few days of respite from power cuts that residents of southern districts experienced during the festivals of ‘Ayudha Puja’ and ‘Vijaya Dasami’ last week has come to an end.

The combination of heavy rains and increased load shedding in Chennai, the city that accounts for the highest electricity consumption in Tamil Nadu, had enabled the power authorities to provide considerable relief from power cuts. However with rains having abated in many parts of the State, Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) sources told The Hindu on Monday that consumption had begun to increase and the use of load shedding had been stepped up to bridge the ever-increasing supply-demand gap.

On the positive side, residents say that the duration of outages had come down to six to eight hours compared to the 14 to 16 hours earlier. The urban areas under TANGEDCO, Madurai Region, which comprises Madurai, Theni, Sivaganga, Dinidgul and Ramanathapuram, experienced five to six hours of load shedding in day time since Wednesday and two to three hours in the night hours.

New plants

According to data from Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation, the sister entity of TANGEDCO, relief (power saving) obtained through load shedding shot up to 52.530 million units (MU) on Saturday (October 27), a four-fold increase from just four days earlier as the relief was only 13.912 MU on Tuesday (October 23, the day of Ayudha Puja).

Load shedding fell slightly on Sunday to 36.992 MU, which was attributed to the reduced demand on account of the holiday. The load shedding during the peak hours of 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. had also doubled to 2,504 MW on Saturday from 1,113 on Tuesday.

According to TANGEDCO sources, sustained relief is possible only after the commissioning of power plants under construction.

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